For the past three seasons at Mississippi State University, Lamar Peters, a junior point guard from New Orleans, has proved he can play at an elite level on the floor. There is no doubt he has the talent to be something special in the National Basketball Association.
His crafty handles, deep shooting range and explosiveness can be compared to players such as Derrick Rose of the Minnesota Timberwolves or Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Peters has the tools to be a top pick in the NBA Draft. The only question is, when?
On Monday, Peters went to Twitter and tweeted the following:
“I’m thanking my Heavenly Father #DRAFTSZN”
Since the post was made on April Fool’s Day, the tweet can be taken with a grain of salt. But, to someone like me who knows it is the end of his junior season and the NBA Draft is coming in June, this tweet could mean so much more.
In speculation, if this is a pre-declaration into the 2019 NBA Draft, this is a big step for Peters' basketball career. This past season, Peters averaged 11.9 points, 5.2 assists and two rebounds per game, which may be average in the eyes of the "stat chasers."
What the stats do not show is how he performs on the court. Peters is a very crafty player when it comes to creating shots. He can either choose to pull up off the dribble, create space between his defender or drive in through contact to get a bucket.
Two things that stand out about his game are his court vision and his deadly ball handling. Watching Peters pass the ball in some moments of the game can either have you go, "That was a great pass," or “How in the world did he get that pass in there?” It may not be all the time, but when Peters finds a way to get the ball to his teammate, he will do whatever it takes to dish it.
Now, when it comes to his dribbling, if you do not believe his handles are outrageous, just search "Lamar Peters crossovers" on Google, and you will see plenty of supporting footage.
Peters can obviously ball and has tremendous potential to become a great player in the league one day. However, I am still concerned about this tweet. Yes, he is a good player and has a good amount of upside, but is he actually ready?
Cutting right to the chase, I do not think he is ready just yet. Like I mentioned earlier, watching him can be extravagant; but sometimes, watching him can make you worry, too.
Although he averaged 11 points per game, his field goal percentage was just under 40 with 39.8 percent. His 38.6% three-point percentage is tolerable, as that would be around the league average, but there are some underlying things behind those totals.
Peters’s shot selection can be questionable at times. He sometimes chooses to shoot out of his normal range or throw up shots to trigger a heat check. Also, there are occasions where he can put up shots at the wrong time, like taking a shot when he can make a play for a teammate to have a better percentage shot.
Another thing about his game that poses problems is his inconsistencies. For example, this season during a home game against the University of Alabama, Peters had a great game, finishing with 22 points, four steals, three assists and three rebounds. However, in the next game at the University of Arkansas, he ended the game with only five points, two steals, three rebounds and one assist.
It is possible he might have had some off games, but there are other games where this trend tends to happen, like when he dropped 11 points with six assists and three steals in a game against Wright State University; but then he only had three fouls and five turnovers against Brigham Young University. His play is just too inconsistent.
Peters has every right to do what he thinks he needs to do for his career. MSU fans should respect that, but analysis of the situation shows he should wait for another year.
If the tweet is only to hype himself and the MSU fans up for the upcoming season, then it is great. So, let us just say he declares next season, works on his shot selection, sharpens up his ball control and stays fairly consistent, then there could be a possibility he can sneak his way to being a potential lottery pick. He can maybe land a spot in the top 15 projected players in the 2020 draft.
As far as Peters goes, if he actually declares, he is projected to be a second-round pick. This can all change, however, due to summer workouts and the actual draft combine where he can boost his draft stock.
In the meantime, another year at MSU would not hurt him, as he shows so much potential to be an absolute force one day for an organization in the NBA, maybe even a franchise player.